AS ABOVE SO BELOW
Solo Show, July 6 - August 10, 2019 Ice House Gallery 405 E. D Street Petaluma, CA (707) 778-2238 Hours M - F, 10 - 5 Weekends by Appointment
When I was in Japantown in April I saw a large display for Marie Kondo's famous book "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up". I had heard of the book, and had been curious but never taken action. This time though it kept drifting into my mind. Three days later I found a used copy at Second Chances Books in Sebastopol. Three hours later my entire wardrobe was on my bedroom floor. It is great to have a closet with all of my clothes neatly organized by type, color and weight, however the most interesting result to me was with my reorganized books. I found that the books that made it back to the bookcase from the floor, the books that "spark joy" for me were on a limited number of subjects: Antiquity, especially Latin, Roman Art and Mythology, Zen Buddhism, and Modern Art, especially the origins of abstraction and Abstract Expressionism.
Upon reflection I realized that these interests have governed my artwork for decades. The abstract space I find in seascapes and the constellations, are like a spiritual practice for me. I often consult books on Roman painting when working on plaster pieces, not only for how they have weathered in time but how they were originally conceived.
In this new series "As Above, So Below" all of these interests seem to be front and center. It began with an exploration of the dualism between the vastness of sky and earth. How is the universal expressed on Earth? Light on this planet comes form a source that we cannot visit or imagine, so its study invokes a connection beyond or immediate consciousness. In Zen all life, including the universal, is considered with objectivity and parity
This series also explore the tension of not knowing exactly what we are looking at. At this time when so many facts and images are manipulated it is particularly relevant to me.
Texture is used to create skyscapes, which are generally more ephemeral. In this way the dualism between sky and earth is addressed and merged, but there is ambiguity. How can a sky be so textural? How can texture have the quality of changing light? What am I really looking at? So often things have not been as I thought they were in my personal life but more then ever I feel the prevalence of blatant manipulation in so many areas of contemporary life. Making ambiguous work brings to light that most everything can be interpreted in multiple ways. Addressing this head on reminds me to be present and aware.